The town known worldwide as the silver capital of Mexico is called Taxco. Located in the state of Guerrero, about 100 miles southwest of Mexico City. The Aztecs had been using the silver for years but it was not until Hernan Cortes arrived and the Spanish conquered the Aztecs in 1521 that the silver was seriously mined. The silver then made its way to Europe. Between the 1600's and 1800's Bolivia, Peru and Mexico produced about 85% of the worlds silver production. In 1931 William Spratling, a architecture professor, moved to Taxco and discovered the talent the locals had with silver smithing. He motivated the community to develop an apprentice system of training Silversmiths. Taxco at this time has almost 1000 Silver stores.
More information on Taxco can be found at: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/taxco
Silver Best Buy has been in business in cancun, Mexico since 1997. Their silver all comes from Taxco and is certified .925. They have original designs, with beautiful craftsmanship. You really need to check out their site. Who can resist looking at wonderful jewelry at a wonderful price. Even if you just want to window shop it is worth it.
The use of copper in Mexico can be attributed to the Purepecha Indians of Central Mexico who produced domestic implements and weapons by hammering copper on stone. In the 1500's the village of Santa Clara del Cobre was founded for copper smelting. The Spanish arrival during this time frame brought European techniques and tools which led to serious advancement in the copper industry. In the town of Santa Clara del Cobre copper smithing became the towns main industry and is famous for the copper skills to this day. Hand hammered copper is still in great demand today, though there are other methods for working with the copper. Artisans pass down their techniques through generations of families. Thus you might find three generations all working in one shop on their designs.